29 March, 2010

Book Review: Capt. Hook

Title: Capt. Hook
Author: J. V. Hart
Illustrator: Brett Helquist
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure
Rating: 5 out of 5

"Even the darkest of villians can have a hero's heart"
I do love that line on the back of the hardcover. I have to say that this is on of my favorite books, and since I've read tons of books, that's saying something.

James Matthew, with blue forget-me-not eyes and yellow blood the color of custard, is the "bastard" child of Lord B. of the House in England. He is enrolled in the pretigious Eton school, and is immediately taunted by Arthur Darling, upperclassmen and Colleger. Following the first encounter with an umbrella, James, or "King Jas." as he prefers being called, is then heralded by the younger boys of Eton, after standing up to Arthur and the cat, a brutal whipping tool that is used on particularly unruly boys. Instead of "screaming for his mommy" Jas reads the title of the classics on the wall of the library during the whipping, not once crying out and taking it as an educational experience.

The good: Very exciting, satirical, and amusing. I fully enjoy the prose and the witty exchanges between James and the people he decides to annoy. The book passes swiftly, carrying the reader through his time at Eton and his trumphs at the school. There is action, a good plot, and interesting characters, along with Roger Davies, or "Jolly R." Full of English curses and the views of several characters, it keeps a reader's attention. Arachnids are an added bonus.

The bad: Ahem. I am seriously disinclined to say anything bad about this book, but there is perhaps a bit too much custard blood and gruesomeness is Jas's specialty in a lot of cases. Getting, well, smeared at the Wall Game is a bit unsavory.

Do I recommend this book? Yes! The author being a screenwriter gives it a different sort of style, and different perspectives I find enjoyable.

Inside flap:

"With his long black curls, a shadowy family tree, and an affinity for pet spiders, James Matthew bears little resemblance to his starched-collar, blue-blooded peers at Eton. Dubbed King Jas., he stop at nothing to become the most notorious underclassmen in the prestigious school's history. For James, sword fighting, falling in love with an Ottoman Sultana, and challengin the Queen of England are all in a day's skullduggery. But when he sets sail on a ship with a mysterious mission, King Jas.' dream of discovering a magical island quickly turns into an unimaginable nightmare. "

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